Picture this, a secret lab in the outback, miles from anywhere or anyone. A storm is brewing that could wield a devastating blow to anything in its wake. Suddenly a car screeches to a halt outside the lab, and you get out. Gaining access to your lab you set up an experiment in particle acceleration and you start computer program. Particles whiz round the acceleration cylinder, sparking and crackling.
Meanwhile, outside the storm has blown up out of all proportion, Lightning hits the lab and crawls speedily along the particle acceleration cylinder towards the lab and ZAP, your desk with you sitting in it are hit.
This is where the game really begins, You, including your desk and a chunk of floor are transported to a strange land of unearthly creatures that seem to be sent from hells bathroom, and they ain't too friendly either. To top all this, you re-materialize under water without an aqualung. Typical! And all that before you actually start to play.
So this is Another World, an amazing puzzle platformer that first appeared on the Commodore Amiga in 1991, the game was so popular that it was ported to almost all available systems of the time; including the Atari ST and PC.
Another World was really such an innovation in gameplay and graphics that it completely captures your imagination, it was original, difficult; and the atmosphere draws you in like a moth to a flame.
Meet the cast
Well here you are, cute eh, and agile too! You can run, jump, roll, swim & even sneak around the scary corridors of this doomed land you find yourself in. Later on you will even pick up a weapon that’s a lot of fun too! Careful though, as one shot or bite from the wee beasties and you’re toast.
A helping hand.
Here’s someone I call Spud, befriended when you free him from prison. Spud will follow you around giving you a much needed helping hand, but keep him safe as spud can also be frazzled by the guards.
In a nutshell they are flippin’ dangerous, outside of a nutshell, even more so; the enemies you encounter are all out to shoot or eat you. Some of the death sequences really make you squirm as they are really gross, the most memorable one is when you get sucked into the tentacle monsters; you see through the Profs eyes as the jaws of death open up, you see teeth and slimy stuff whizzing towards your face and then SNAP!
Highly unique for the time, it’s a sort of puzzle platform shoot em up; sometimes you have to run like hell and jump at the right time, sometimes you have to use your gun to make a shield which stops enemy fire, allowing you to stick your hand through the shield and fire at them.
Your gun has 3 modes: fire, shield and blast, which are accessed by holding down the trigger for different lengths of time. There are also rooms that power up the gun, this is funny as it also fluffs up the profs hair while it charges the weapon.
The overall difficulty level is pretty hard, but very satisfying, I played it for weeks! This game could take you days to complete but here’s the funny thing, I played it soo much I had the whole thing memorized and I could speedrun the whole game in 20 minutes.
Groundbreaking for the time as before this game hit our systems, basic sprites was the order of the day. Another World is mainly built out of polygons which makes the animations very fluid and smooth. Most of the cut scenes are stunning, I remember one where you look out the window of a tower which triggers a cutscene that pans down to the city below accompanied with a haunting audio sample, amazingly atmospheric!
There are one or two cutscenes that are a little bit naff, but that doesn’t spoil the game. All in all, a superb looking 16 bit game!
There’s almost no speech in this game, the odd mumble from the guards and a sort of hello from Spud in an alien language. Sounds awful don’t it, well actually it’s not. There’s soo much atmosphere going on, it really draws you in. Areas where you just get the wind in the background and your own footsteps really set the scene. It’s perfect!
If you have never played this game, you should at least give it a go. It’s a classic example of innovation and originality from the classic 16 bit era. I know a lot of people couldn’t get past the 2nd screen, but when I told them the how to do it, they kicked themselves shouting “Oh why didn’t I think of that”; here’s a hint, RUN, JUMP & RUN AGAIN!